Global Artificial Photosynthesis as Nanotechnology’s Moral Culmination
Chapter 7: Nanotechnology for Global Peace and Security
The truth is, that no mind is much employed upon the present: recollection and anticipation fill up almost all our moments … Of the uncertainties of our present state, the most dreadful and alarming is the uncertain continuance of reason. – Samuel Johnson, Rasselas 7.1 RESEARCHING MILITARY NANOTECHNOLOGY FOR A SUSTAINABLE PEACE? My family, on my father’s side, has a long tradition of military service. Direct relatives fought against the French at Quebec, against Napoleon in Spain and with the Australian Light Horse in the battles of Gallipoli, Beersheba and Romani in the Middle East during the First World War. I’ve always thought that reading military history gives you very valuable vicarious experience, especially for an academic career. Such history also shows how military needs and expenditure have been responsible for major advances in human technology. Peace and security undoubtedly are major public and environment goods coherent with a global social contract. The philosopher Immanuel Kant (whom readers by now will have discerned is one of my favourites) stated that the greatest evils that oppress civilised nations are the result of war – not so much actual wars in the past or present as the unremitting, indeed ever-increasing preparation for war in the future. Most of the resources of a nation state and the fruits of its culture and industry (which might have enhanced the well-being of its peoples) continue to be devoted to this military purpose. As a result, the freedom, happiness and prosperity of citizens (though ostensibly thus protected from real...
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